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question iconI am a seller and has accepted an offer for full price and with full amount of earnest money deposited. The buyer has signed the sellers and buyers contract, with a set closing date on Nov 22. A day before closing, our closer didn’t have all of the paperwork from the lender. The closer called the lender asking for documents. The lender told the closer that the buyer had called and requested the closing date be changed to 2 weeks after the original date. The lender agreed to accommodate the buyers needs. The buyer called the lender 3 days after the loan objective deadline had expired. In our contract it states that a Mutual agreement between both parties and in writing before changing anything, including the closing date. The buyer took it upon himself to change without our consent. The buyer did not tell anyone, including his realtor, what he has done. On the same day, I’m assuming or the day after, the buyer called the lender directly and requested the closing date be changed, the buyer asked his realtor to ask our realtor, in turn ask us, for an extension to close 2 weeks after the stated closing date. The buyer is military and was deploying to Tx. We are military also. We denied the buyers request, but gave him some alternative solutions, like giving limited POA to his wife or the closing company could send a notary to his location to sign closing documents and Skype with the closer and his wife on the day of closing. The buyer was angry and demanded for our phone number so he may call us directly. After our realtor told me this, I told her no, I will not talk to him. He needs to go through his realtor to communicate with us. After all that is why we have realtors for. The buyer finally said fine we will close on the closing date listed on the contract. Come to find out the day before closing, the buyer had gone over everyone’s head and changed the closing date before asking us. We found out all this mess close to the end of business day, the day before closing. We just want to sell our home without any trouble. The buyer has put me in a bad spot because my husband is/now deploying overseas. I realize the buyer wants to be present at closing with his wife but he also needs to realize we deserve the same respect. With the buyer changing the closing date, my husband will not be present with me and there’s no notary that could come to him. The day before closing we had to agree, because of what he did, we signed an agreement and also stating a certain amount be taken off the amount we agreed to pay for half of there closing cost. The buyers did sign. My question is, after everything the buyer has done behind everyone’s back, are we able to keep his earnest money he deposited even after we continued with the sell of our house to them? The buyer did breach the contract and didn’t tell anyone.
answer icon

The ultimate issue here is that you ultimately agreed to the extension to close. Thus, the buyer is now not in breach of the contract so the earnest money is not an issue.

The foregoing information is general information only and should not be relied upon to take, or fail to take, legal action. No attorney-client relationship is formed by this information.
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Bill Henry
Real EstateNov 30, 2016
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